I was scrolling Facebook, as I always do in the morning or around lunch, and saw a fellow friend/blogger/artist friend of mine posted this picture. It was taken at her Art Shop she owns in Illinois and the words spoke to me. Or perhaps it moved me.
You see, I have been doing this over the past year. Something happened when I moved down here. Away from my family, my friends, people I had known for my entire life… and instead of just immediately being welcomed with open arms into a new circle or tribe, I’ve slowly been poking my head into circles and trying them on for size.
The beauty of moving someplace where no one knows your faults, your screw-ups, your idiosyncrasies is that you can reinvent yourself. That’s all fine and good, if that is what you need to feed your soul.
It’s not in my bag of tricks. I’m married to the idea of being authentic and letting the chips fall where they may. And with that, it’s hard to find the right circle to show all your cards to.
Professionally – sure. I’m good to go. Maybe even more so than others. That’s never been my Achilles heel. But the fact that I have a marriage (or two) under my belt, or the fact that I am very opinionated or even outspoken (about a wide variety of topics,) can be jarring, and let’s face it folks – I’m in the DEEP South now. Southwest Georgia. Small towns. I’m pretty darn liberal. I have to tread these waters carefully.
So I entered this new life with so many good things: Great guy, great job, beautiful new home… and I sat there guarded. Feeling like I was a captive in my own skin. I have watched as others (new to the community) trusted the wrong locals and have all but found themselves fighting for their jobs, their reputations, and so much more. THAT scared me. Maybe even scarred me a little. I’ve never lived in such a small place and I did not realize how vicious it could be.
Recently, I’ve spent some time analyzing my actual experience, not the experience I feared. People are kind to me. They like the work I am doing. People have extended invitations. Things are just fine. What has been holding me back is myself. And like the photo above, I have decided to forgive myself for all of my past mistakes and transgressions and set myself free. I’m letting my guard down, and the universe is responding. I’m in a good place, and at some point, I must have allowed poison to enter my mind and hold me back.
That is so not my style.
What holds you back? What do you need to do to set yourself free?